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    Massive explosion rocks Beirut port (Updates)

    Massive explosion rocks Beirut port (Updates)

    Conflicting reports as to what exploded and how — Lebanese PM blames 2,700 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate stored at port.
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    A massive explosion, or series of explosions, has rocked the port of Beirut, causing widespread destruction and generating an enormous shock wave and dust cloud.

    The cause of the explosion is unclear. Some accounts attribute it to an explosion at a fireworks factory, while others speculate it is a Hezbollah weapons depot. Israeli and Hezbollah sources, speaking to media, deny it was an Israeli attack.

    The Jerusalem Post reports:

    The source of the explosion was unclear. LBCI Lebanon News claimed that a fire had broken out at the port and then triggered an explosion of a nearby warehouse storing fireworks. According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen news, the explosion occurred in a warehouse storing benzine, a flammable chemical.

    Sources from Hezbollah told OTV Lebanon that there was “no truth” to reports that the explosion was caused by an Israeli strike on Hezbollah weapons at the port. Israeli defense officials denied that Israel had any connection to the incident. Hezbollah operatives were seen at the port after the explosion, according to Al-Arabiya. Fighter jets were spotted over Tel Aviv after the explosion, according to Channel 12 news.

    Lebanon’s General Security director told Al-Hadath that reports that the explosion was caused by fireworks were “ridiculous” and that the explosion involved high-quality explosives.





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    A huge warehouse full of ammonium nitrate, and grain elevator nearby. So, the initial explosion fire is something small by comparison, maybe it’s fireworks (the sparkles I’ve seen indicate ammo or fireworks). It gets hot enough (along with whatever else is required) and the AN goes off (leading to the huge dark red cloud) and this sets off the grain elevators (which is the explosion that levels things).

    Whether there’s any nefarious bits to this, I don’t know. But I think the sequence is pretty solid. It certainly sounds like a bit of incompetence over malice.

    MajorWood | August 5, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    The grain elevator walls collapsed. It was not a part of the explosion. The symmetrical white cloud that rapidly expanded was water vapor temporarily compressed to droplet form by the massive over pressure, similar say, to how a lenticular cloud forms when high winds hit the side of a mountain.

    I wonder how long these events were going on before it went high-order. The area is still accessible by satellite Googlemaps. It will be interesting to see if any of the countries that have been using Lebanon as a playground will step up to fix it.

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